What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly use or produce insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas that converts sugar, starches and other food into glucose which is used for our body's energy needs.

Facts about Diabetes

  • Controllable: Though there is no cure for Diabetes, it can be managed by keeping blood sugar close to normal. This is done with proper meal planning, exercise, and possible medicines.
  • Life-long:Your blood sugar levels should improve with treatment. However, this does not mean that your Diabetes has gone away. It just means your blood sugars are in control.
  • Self-managed:Your doctor will advise and support you, but control depends on you. The choices you make help determine what your blood sugar level will be.
  • Constantly changing:It is common for your doctor to change your medicine or treatment plan over time because your Diabetes changes over time.

What happens when you eat?

  • Some of the food in the stomach breaks down into sugars - one of these sugars is glucose, the body's main fuel.
  • When your body senses an increase in sugar, it sends a signal to your pancreas.
  • The pancreas makes insulin and sends it into the bloodstream.
  • Insulin lowers the level of blood sugar by acting as a key to unlock the body's cells and allows sugar to pass from the bloodstream into the cells.
  • The level of sugar in the bloodstream falls as the sugar passes into the cells.
  • The body's cells use the sugar for fuel.



Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes2015. DIABETES Care 2015;3 (Suppl. 1)
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, edition 18, chapters 35, 94, 218, 21, 344
ISPAD Clinical Practice Consensus Guidelines 2014
Uptodate: Overview of medical care in adults with diabetes mellitus Author David K McCulloch, MD, Mar 18-2015
Uptodate: Glycemic control and vascular complication in type 2 diabetes mellitus, Author David K McCulloch, MD, Jun 2015